Do you, or Don't you?

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Spirituality in the Arts' started by The Master, Apr 25, 2008.

  1. OnlyAnEgg

    OnlyAnEgg Senior Master

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    This is an interesting question.

    Yes. Unhesitatingly. I am of the opinion that natural selection has long taken a back seat to the cleverness of the human race, with the numbers getting farther apart every day. Thinking, as Joe suggests, god-wise and not man-wise and knowing I would likely be one of those to fall to the 'plague', 'flood', or other method of destruction, I would still say yes.

    Think of it as thinning the herd.

    As far as Hitler is concerned, now we're talking assassination. Whole different question.
     
  2. exile

    exile To him unconquered.

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    I just want to echo Tellner's point, and suggest that the OP question is turning out to really be the following: given your perception that a certain subset of humanity posed a threat to you of some degree of seriousness, would you do what was necessary to kill all members of that subset. Tellner's answer is basically: if the threat is an imminent deadly threat to me and/or mine (which might include innocent people not directly known to me, but who could have been me if circumstances were just slightly different), yes. But given our lack of foreknowledge, not under any other circumstances. I think this is morally justifiable, under the imperative that nature has equipped us with: you have no access to any of your moral rights, or any other rights, or anything else at all, unless you secure your life in the first place.
     
  3. tshadowchaser

    tshadowchaser Sr. Grandmaster

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    Would it in my opinion (at that moment) be for the betterment of the rest of the world.
    Would it stop a nuclear war that could wipe out all of life on this planet?
    Would it bring about peace and harmony?
    How many inventions, life saving methods, brilliant minds would it eliminate that might better the world in time to come.
    What would be the repercussions and could they be avoided?

    I guess I would need to ask myself these questions before or maybe after doing the deed
     
  4. Nolerama

    Nolerama Master Black Belt

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    Good question, but something of a conundrum in terms of your perception of "humanity." A myriad of questions sprout from your little nugget of curiousity. Here are some of mine:

    What makes us human? An idea of "form," of "self," and awareness of other "selves" that allows us to interact in such a way as is positive and beneficial to the initial idea of "self." Some say that's part of what separates us from the animal: the ability and choice to socialize.

    Does the act of murder take away from our humanity? Violently (the sudden act of losing life is violent) taking the life away from another "self" forces us to revert back to an animalistic phase; more reactive than a proactive concept of "self"-- yes, murder takes some of our humanity away from us.

    What would motivate me to murder someone/ mass people?
    I would need to revert back to an "animal" in order to begin the process of murder. Is that a bad thing? No. But I would not have used uniquely-human qualities that might avert such a situation. I would regret the lack of my humanity in the loss of so many lives.
    Do all "evil" people need to die? Evil is a perception. We all have evil qualities perceived by others, as well as good ones. If all "evil" people die, then there would be no one left on the planet.

    Do we need evil?
    Like we need ourselves. For this group, many people in MA use evil as a motivator to train. Some for self defense against the "evil" "out there." Some train to keep in shape, poor health being an "evil" in life. Heck yeah, we need evil, just like we need our humanity to disseminate our perceptions of reality to determine what is good for ourselves.

    Would blindly killing large amounts of people make me less human? In my opinion, yes. I no longer care about the awareness of others. For lack of a better term, I'm simply creating more space for myself and getting rid of competition in a violent manner; something animals do. The human being is political (Rousseau).

    Would killing an ethnic group NOT cause harm to myself? There's a fallacy in that portion of your question. IF we perceive those killed as people, then as a group they should hold at least some good qualities for the rest of humanity. Therefore the loss of those people are a detriment to the expansion of my own awareness of humanity, and therefore cause harm to my idea of "self."

    I see this as the other side of the coin to your previous question:

    If I had to choose who would live and who would die, would I choose life for everybody? This personalizes the experience. An example used previously was Hitler. If he came up in line for me to inoculate him from a killing virus, would I deny that from him? Doctors swear an oath to help those in need regardless of their previous actions to maintain their humanity/awareness of human nature. If I had the Ultimate Cure, then would that not place me in the same category? In order to preserve my idea of self, I would subscribe to those same principles. I am not God, even if I had a power similar to God's.

    The reality of it is that some people will die, assuming I had an Ultimate Cure. I can't reach 6.5 billion people. Choices will have to be made. Human nature includes nepotism, despotism, and all the other -isms that can corrupt and evil. I would change in the face of this situation. Some of my humanity would be lost by choice. To give me this kind of power would make me an animal, reflecting on the loss that my own being created due to physical limitation. Those dying and beyond my help (but aware of my being) would consider me a killer. I would be perceived as a murderer, an animal reacting instinctively to his surroundings, which cause death and destruction. Evil can come through inaction, this situation makes me evil...

    Regardless, I want to maintain what I perceive as my humanity, my Self. Posing this situation on me would deny some, if not all of my being as I perceive it now.

    I have hurty brain now. Thanks a lot.
     
  5. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    Eh? All sorts of animals socialized. Many have complex, adaptive social behaviors. Consider dogs, whales, wildebeest, horses and crows.

    Killing is killing. Murder is a culture-specific judgment we put on certain killings. We certainly come up with some very creative reasons to kill. And we expend huge amounts of ingenuity, time and physical resources coming up with ways to kill each other. And we can be very proactive about it. I can't think of another animal which will wait ten years to kill another of its kind over an abstract concept or breeding rights over a conspecific who has been dead for years.

    Most animals kill each other for food, territory, breeding rights or control of some other important resource. Humans do that too. But they come up with some bizarre motivations as well. That would tend to make "murder" a more, not less human trait.
    You are trying to be slippery and conflate "evil", poor health, any sort of danger and probably a hundred other random things. That way you can dilute the concept enough to use it as you see fit. In the words of Inego Montoya "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."

    And do you know? I have never met anyone who use "evil" as a reason to do martial arts. Church of Satan Priest "Colonel Akula" has written about Satanism and self defense which might qualify. But he is speaking from a rather precious and idiosyncratic religious perspective. Most people learn to fight in order to be able to fight for their own reasons some of which may be evil by someone else's definition.

    If anything it would make you more human. I can't think of a single other animal which carries out genocide for the sake of genocide.There probably aren't any which would plan ways to track down every member of another species and get rid of them all even leaving their normal business and traveling far outside their territory to do so.

    Plenty of other animals have politics. Look at how a dog pack, monkey troop or herd of elephants works for examples. None is willing to die over the abstract question as to whether a piece of bread literally or merely figuratively becomes the sirloin of a dead Jewish carpenter.

    Not necessarily. They may have good qualities. But if they are a threat to me and mine the benefit of keeping them around pales in comparison to the harm they do by continuing to breathe. If we are competing for some vital resource, then I - and people who share my genes - will die if I allow them to live. I will be infinitely damaged thereby. So it would be rational, human and increase my chances at having continuing human experiences to kill them.

    If simply posing the question or considering the answer would damage your self concept, then your Self is a very weak thing indeed and could probably use some creative destruction.
     
  6. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    Adding a Galtonian twist, how would you use this power to improve the human race?

    Are enough of us dying so that our population remains strong? Perhaps this power could be used to avoid race degeneracy?

    How does anyone know that every human life has an equal value?
     
  7. Nolerama

    Nolerama Master Black Belt

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    You're right. Those are social animals. I know it might be a little reaching, but I did mention the choice to socialize.



    I fully agree that murder is a completely human trait. I don't think I was too clear. In my argument, I placed "humanity" on a pedestal; that humans can do good things. That was my premise. And its theoretical, I know.

    I stand by what I stated simply because I wanted to use "evil" as a broad term for things negative to an individual without going into what's evil and what's good. Thanks, I have slippery way with words, I guess.


    Very true. However, I think this is a point of contention in semantics. I'm learning something here, and I see you point. Maybe I am being a little "slippery." Is there really an altruistic reason for doing anything?

    I think genocide happens all the time with animals. Invasive species kill off indigenous ones. Ant colonies kill other ant colonies.


    Political as in humans. Political from the Platonic sense.


    In this dialog, is this a conclusion? Is genocide a feasible goal? Would you be willing to open the vial?

    I don't consider myself a weak person when I know my limitations. Killing billions of people will hurt me. I am certain I will be damaged by doing so. I just wanted to pose a few of the questions spawned by the original. My personal conclusion would be No. Killing a bunch of people would not be good for me, nor would I see myself as a human being afterwards from my current point of view. While "creative destruction" might sound like a good suggestion for me, what about "creative construction?" I'd much rather build something than actively destroy. Whether it be something tangible, or something as intangible as a friendship. But that's just me.

    I really liked the remark about "sirloin of Jewish Carpenter." I'm going to use that one.
     
  8. championmarius

    championmarius Yellow Belt

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    Yes. Unequivocally, yes. Although I reserve the right not to use it.

    Choices must be given and made, even if the choice is not to decide.

    Looking at this from a Chaotician point of view, lets change the paradigm a tad.

    I suppose a fair extension of this question would then be.
    It puts the intent of the question into clear contrast without muddying the waters with the Subjective truth of Morality.
    But the real kicker is "To what end?"

    What is gained by eradicating all Bos gaurus hubbacki (Thai wild Guar)? How much positive impact could a possible future member of that particular group of cattle have had? What contributions to cattle society and culture could it have missed out on?

    I guess it comes down to "How subjective is morality?"
     
  9. Dagney Taggert

    Dagney Taggert Green Belt

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    No. negative. no way. Then you are making a judgement, assumption, etc, that all of these people are EXACTLY the same, think the same, etc. IF I had the power of our almighty, I would know that the brilliance of life can sometimes lie within the presentation of one's opponent. Anyway it's bad manners.

    Dagney
     
  10. elder999

    elder999 El Oso de Dios!

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    Whether it included me or not, yes, I'd use it. There are far too many people on earth-for the good of the human race, some of us just have to be gone. I'd say everyone who doesn't have Polynesian blood, but my great-great grandmother was Polynesian, so let's kill everyone but the pygmies, and be done with it. :lol:
     
  11. tellner

    tellner Senior Master

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    The nice thing about this question is that it will be moot pretty soon.

    Except for the Khoi and San there's more genetic variation within the groups than between them. Those two groups and the third race of man - everybody else - nearly split genetically about 100,000 years ago. But they didn't. We travel more these days. Humans will breed with anything that has more or less the right number of chromosomes let alone legs. So I don't see it happening again until we have interstellar travel.

    Give us a few hundred years. If we don't wipe ourselves out everyone will be beige and completely heterozygous. Then we'll have to find other things to oppress each other over.

    There's another serious 'gotcha' in the original question that will be apparent to anyone who's read The White Plague.
     
  12. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    What if the deciding factor wasn't quite ethnic, but something else.
    Everyone with red hair, or blue eyes, or just long hair?
     
  13. Cryozombie

    Cryozombie Grandmaster

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    Ha... YES. Yes I would... since the OP posed the question stating It would be done WITH NO HARM TO YOURSELF I would wipe out the entire male population of the planet... being the only male left...

    Well... Id be a very happy male.

    :)

    Sorry Guys. :)
     
  14. Makalakumu

    Makalakumu Gonzo Karate Apocalypse

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    I got this next quote from a fortune cookie and it seems apt after this comment.

    "Constant grinding turns an iron rod into a needle."




























    pwn ;)
     
  15. The Master

    The Master Bow Before Me.

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    I promised when I began that I would answer, but after others had time to ponder the question. Here is my answer.

    I would. Without hesitation, without regret, without remorse.
    I would be called a hero and a leader for doing it.
    As have others who in the past have done the same and similar.

    Fixated are people on the issue of race, which is one possible way to examine the question. There are other paths however that have been over looked. Some have considered a portion of them, but missed are many an option.

    What one sees in this question is but a mirror into their own mind and limitations. I submit that those focusing on the racial aspects are in fact somewhat bigoted themselves, and denying it. I am a member of the Human Race, not the white nor the dark nor the other shades of infinite variety that surround us.

    Men sit in safe bunkers, hand on the key, able to rain death with the twist of a wrist and a few key strokes. Our leaders order destruction, protected by concrete and steel and filtered air. Rare today is the general felled in battle.

    The question is, a matter of perspective.

    The greater question of good vs evil is of course food for later debate.
     
  16. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    Of course not. You cannot tell a bad person from a good one on sight, and to claim/attempt to is asinine. If everyone was the same, life would be pretty boring.
     
  17. Big Don

    Big Don Sr. Grandmaster

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    Death to the Gingers?
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Bob Hubbard

    Bob Hubbard Retired

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    I always prefered Mary Ann anyway. :D
     
  19. CoryKS

    CoryKS Senior Master

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    Depends. Do I have the power to totally and completely control the subset that will be affected? In other words, nobody dies except those whom I wish dead? I'm going to assume "yes" since you later assume "the power of a god", which suggests omnipotence.

    At this time, no. But I could. Keep in mind that within the bounds you have set, this portion could range from everybody to just one person. So it's not necessarily a racial question - it could be that guy over there who is harming my family.

    There can be no reason to kill others simply for their racial makeup. But what about eradicating those who are hosts for certain ideas? I think that's what genocide usually targets. Problem is, if an idea occurred once it can occur again. Even if you define your terms carefully and remove everybody who holds the idea you are trying to erase, there's no guarantee that the idea won't come back.
     
  20. stone_dragone

    stone_dragone Senior Master

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    This an interesting question that smacks of a conversation that my Chaplain and I had a few weeks ago.

    For those who are familiar with the portion of the Christian Gospels relating to what is called "The Passion," the Apostle Peter, believed by many to be the closest and most loved Apostle, is told by Jesus that he (Peter) will deny knowing him (Jesus) three times before the sun rises the next morning. Peter, of course is incredulous. It happens any way.

    We all like to think that we will be the strong one, or the right one, or the one that will face the fire for a cause...choosing to be the noble one. One of the lessons in the Bible story that I cited is that no matter what our intentions, when faced making the actual decision, those best laid plans oft' go awry...and not just a little bit, either. We think that we'll be there, but we are most often jsut like Peter...or even more so, Judas.

    I learned long ago that it's bad business to say "I'd NEVER do that..."

    So in order to be right in the long run...yeah, I'd probably do it, although I'd like to think that I wouldn't.
     
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